Although guys would like to argue differently (and they’d be wrong), the West has clearly been relegated when it comes to nationally-run tournament organizations. Instead of the same shot afforded anglers elsewhere, those who would aspire to recognition and reward outside their zip code (unless they plan on going back to college) will have but a single route and a narrow window to shine in 2012.

As it is in international soccer, when you don’t perform well enough in a higher division, you get relegated or sent to a lower division. That’s what happened, of course, with FLW surrendering its National Guard Series and leaving the EverStarts behind.

With all the trappings of a national circuit, EverStart is patently regional with a tall ladder to an eventual Tour Championship. Furthermore, the 2012 version of the lower circuit is the most contracted yet. Next year we’ll see all four events strung together at 30-day intervals from January to April. And while its a fishy line-up with Shasta, Havasu, the Delta and Clear Lake in that order, it’s not workin’ guy friendly.

The almost winner-take-all format still requires four Wednesday-Friday requests for time-off, and that can’t be a sure thing in the state with the highest unemployment in the nation.

But then, there could be something worse than relegation. After releasing its 2012 schedule, it’s safe to say that B.A.S.S. still believes in the old 1800’s view of the country–that there’s nothing west of Missouri or Texas. That’s called elimination.



2 Responses to “2012: ‘Relegation’ the fate of Western pros”

Very sad, but exactly right, there is no way for a western fisherman to be a full-time pro. The west needs somebody or something to have a bigger vision and forget about the “eastern circuits” coming “all the way out here”. Until the western fishermen band together and create there own league, we will stay second- class in the eyes of the eastern guys.

You will always be first class to me John, You are a class act and one of the best. An example for all. Art